Aquamarine and celestial were the shoals of sunset
as I hacked pensively home from Dumbridge. The
Colonel's Cup clinked and joggled against my saddle.
Time was irrelevant. But I was back at Butley by
eight o'clock, and Cockbird, who had returned by an
earlier train, was safe and sound; a little uneasily he
wandered around his loose-box, rustling the deep
straw, but always going back to the manger for another
mouthful of clover-hay. Dixon serenely digested
triumph with his tea; presently he would go out to the
"Rose and Crown" to hand Homeward his multiplied
half-crown and overawe the gossips with his glory.
Absolved and acquiescent was the twilight as I
went quietly across the lawn and in at the garden
door to the drawing-room. Aunt Evelyn's arm-chair
scrooped on the beeswaxed floor as she pushed it back
and stood up with her bottle of smelling-salts in her
hand. For the first time since my success I really
felt like a hero. And Miriam served the dinner with
the tired face of a saint that seemed lit with fore-
knowledge of her ultimate reward. But at that time
I didn't know what her goodness meant.
At the end of our evening, when they had gone
upstairs with my highly coloured history of the day in
their heads, I strolled out into the garden; for quite
a long time I stared at the friendly lights that twinkled
from the railway station and along the dark Weald.
I had brought something home with me as well as the
Cup. There was this new idea of Denis Milden as
Master. For I hadn't forgotten him, and my per-
sistent studying of Horse and Hound and The Hunting
Directory had kept me acquainted with his career as
an amateur huntsman since he had left Oxford. A
dog barked and a train went along the Weald ... the
last train to London, I thought.. , .